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Welcome to your Daily News Digest. Here’s what’s happening today:
Julian Alaphilippe wins stage 6 of Tirreno-Adriatico, Cape Epic underway in South Africa, Nice Grand Départ announced for 2020 Tour. Those stories and more in today’s Daily News Digest.
Story of the Day: Alaphilippe sprints to surprise stage 6 win at Tirreno-Adriatico
Julian Alaphilippe snatched a surprise stage 6 win in Jesi, transitioning from lead out man into sprinter when teammate Elia Viviani found himself disconnected from the Deceuninck-Quick-Step train on the finishing straight.
The Frenchman topped Davide Cimolai of Israel Cycling Academy at the line to snag his second stage victory of the race so far. Viviani took third on the day. Alaphilippe said afterward that his teammate had given him the green light on the to try his own luck in the slightly uphill finale.
“We wanted to do a good lead out for Elia, but he told me in the last lap that if I wanted to try the sprint… so I said, okay, I will be your last lead out man,” Alaphilippe said after the victory. “Maximiliano Richeze did a really impressive last big pull and I was right behind him. I saw the line at 200 meters to go and I just went full gas.”
The 195-kilometer stage from Matelica featured some climbing in the first half of the day, but a bunch sprint always seemed the likely outcome. The last survivors of the early breakaway, José Joaquín Rojas of Movistar and Davide Ballerini of Astana, were caught inside the final five kilometers to set up the expected sprint—with an unexpected winner.
The Deceuninck-Quick-Step train was in pole position for the finale, but there was a hectic battle for the last wheel among the sprinters behind. Greg Van Avermaet tried to steal a march on the field with around 300 meters to go, but Richeze was too fast for the Belgian to make any headway.
Alaphilippe hit the front at top speed as Richeze pulled off. With Viviani still weaving his way through sprint traffic behind, Alaphilippe pushed on and narrowly held off Cimolai to take the win.
“I know I can do a sprint, especially in a final like this, with a hard day before,” Alaphilippe said. “My team did a really impressive job all day to control the stage, especially in the final laps.”
Mitchelton-Scott’s Adam Yates finished safely in the peloton to retain his general classification lead as the final stage – a 10-kilometer time trial in San Benedetto del Tronto – looms. Yates sits 25 seconds ahead of Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) on the overall leaderboard, with Jakob Fuglsang (Astana) in third, 35 seconds down.
Beauty of Cycling
Paris-Nice came to its conclusion on Sunday with Egan Bernal surviving a spirited challenge from Nairo Quintana to take the overall win. We’re going to miss watching the peloton roll through the scenic south of France.
2020 Tour de France set for Nice start with early mountains
Tour de France organizers have announced that the Tour will set out from Nice in 2020, with potential for intrigue in the early goings. According to details given by the ASO, the 2020 will open with a rolling stage before throwing some mountains at the peloton in stage 2.
The early climbs break with the Tour’s tendency to hold off a week or more on steep stuff, which is either a welcome injection of excitement or a crime against the time-honored tradition of sleepy Tour starts, depending on your point of view.
Total to replace Direct Energie as title sponsor of Pro Continental squad
According to L’Equipe, French oil and gas company Total will take over as the title sponsor of Direct Energie ahead of Paris-Roubaix.
The French Pro Continental squad, the new home of reigning Tour of Flanders champion Niki Terpstra, will see a change in kit and possibly increased investment after Total purchased French utility company Direct Energie last year. That should be a boon to team manager Jean-René Bernaudeau, who has been hoping to return to the WorldTour after racing at the top level – as the Europcar team – for one season in 2014.
Schurter and Forster, Langvad and van der Breggen off to fast starts at Cape Epic
The Cape Epic is underway this week in South Africa, with a prologue kicking off the action on Sunday in Cape Town followed by a 111-kilometer stage 1 today.
On the men’s side, Nino Schurter and Lars Forster wasted no time jumping out to a significant lead in the first two days of racing, taking the prologue and then doubling up with a convincing stage 1 victory. This Swiss duo now enjoys an advantage of 3:33 over nearest rivals Manuel Fumic and Henrique Avancini.
Annika Langvad and Anna van der Breggen have enjoyed similar success in their own Cape Epic start, winning both the prologue and stage 1 to build a lead of 5:42 over second-placed Ariane Lüthi and Maja Wloszczowska.
Racing continues with a challenging stage 2 from Hermanus to Oak Valley on Tuesday.
Cyclist in critical condition after another cyclist kicks him off bike
A London cyclist is in critical condition after a bizarre incident in which another cyclist kicked him off his bike.
The Guardian reports that the 30-year-old victim was cycling in the Hackney Wick area of London last Sunday when another cyclist rode up alongside him and kicked him, causing him to collide with a parked car.
According to the Guardian, no motive for the attack is known.
Ted King announces new gravel race
Former road pro and current gravel star Ted King is creating a gravel event with his wife Laura. The pair announced today that the new Rooted Vermont: Return to Gravel race will take place on August 4 in Richmond, Vermont.
The event will feature two course length options, both featuring 70 percent dirt roads. The 45-mile race will tackle 3,500 feet of climbing, while the 85-mile race will traverse 8,000. A portion of the proceeds will go towards trail-building efforts at Cochran’s Ski Area, which will also host the finish and a post-race party.
The Redlands Bicycle Classic wrapped up on Sunday with men’s and women’s crowned after an aggressive final stage for both fields. You can catch the full stage 5 replay here:
Park Tool introduces revamped PCS-10.2 and PCS-9.2 home repair stands
Park Tool’s popular PCS-10 (which Dave Rome reviewed in 2018 and PCS-9 consumer repair stands get key updates for 2019, such as ovalized tubing that prevents the telescoping upper section from rotating, locking legs, and new tubular struts on the lower legs for extra stability.
The US$200 PCS-10.2 uses Park Tool’s quick-release micro-adjustable clamp and aluminum quick-release levers for the locking leg and height-adjustable main mast, while the US$160 PCS-9.2 makes do with simpler hand-crank jaw mechanism and more basic rotating knobs on the repair stand frame.
The PCS-10.2 also bundles a compact tray for tools and smaller parts, and a variety of other accessories are available for both stands, including a nylon travel bag, a larger tool tray, and a paper towel holder.
International prices are to be confirmed, and both stands are now available at www.parktool.com.
Flagship Look Keo Blade Carbon Ceramic announced
Look has unveiled a new version of its popular Keo Blade Carbon pedals that come standard with hybrid ceramic bearings that the company claims to not only reduce friction by 18%, but also improves bearing life by 4-6 times over the standard steel cartridges. Double-sealed construction also provides the Keo Blade Carbon Ceramic pedals with a claimed IPX6 waterproofness rating against pressure washing.
Other features carry over from existing Keo Blade Carbon models, such as a sleek carbon fiber composite body shape, the wide platform, stainless steel wear plate, and selectable 12, 16, or 20Nm release tensions.
Claimed weight is 110g per pedal, and retail price is €190 (international prices are to be confirmed). If that’s too rich for your blood, then you can also check out our review of the best budget-minded road pedals instead.
More information can be found at www.lookcycle.com.
Tyre makers return blame to Enve
Following Enve’s recent finger pointing toward certain open tubular and cotton clincher tire failures, the finger has been pointed straight back. As reported by BRAIN, both Vittoria and Challenge have defended their tires by stating it’s the sharp edges on Enve’s wheels that are to blame.
Challenge went as far to state that Enve’s SES wheels don’t conform to old or new ETRTO standards. “It has come to Challenge’s attention that ENVE SES model carbon wheels do not comply with the above standards on the design of the rounded hooked rim radius. In fact, ENVE’s SES have two sharp (<0.2mm) radii in their hooks, that leave two parallel cuts about 0.5mm apart, around the entire radius of our (and other company’s) tires, at around 3-4mm above the bead.”
This story is certainly not over and James Huang is currently looking into it further.
Mavic finds a new home, Mavic and Enve to part-ways
Nearly three years after Mavic acquired Enve Composites, it appears the two companies are set to go on different paths. Both Mavic and Enve were recently listed for sale following the announced acquisition of their parent company, Amer Sports.
Amer have agreed to sell Mavic to Regent, a U.S private equity firm. Enve Composites was not part of the sale and currently remains with Amer Sports. Amer Sports is still in the process of being acquired by Chinese company Anta Sports. There is no word on the status of Enve’s sale at this time.
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